Must visit historical sites in Jerusalem
Jerusalem’s a city filled with must see historical sites, but it can be tricky knowing where to start. It’s one of those places where it doesn’t matter if you have zero knowledge. In fact, it probably works to your advantage as the history’s so rich, and what’s more, it’s even better to learn firsthand from the experts.
The historical sites you need to visit in Jerusalem
More than ‘Jesus’ stuff
It’s normal to think that in one of the most holiest cities, you’ll only come across ‘Jesus’ stuff (as a friend of mine said) but you’d be wrong.
Whether you’re religious or not makes no difference in Jerusalem. The following sites are awe-inspiring, grandiose and worth bustling your way through the crowds for.
The Tower of David
The Tower of David’s an ancient citadel at the edge of the Old City in Jerusalem, and is a historical asset of great significance. In addition it’s a medieval fortress with architectural traces from several periods including the Byzantine and early Muslim periods. The citadel also contains important archaeological relics dating back over 2,000 years. The site’s also home to the Tower of David Museum, which contains 4,000 years of Jerusalem’s history.
Check the website for the most up-to-date information on ticket prices and opening times. For a completely mind-blowing experience, you also have to see the night spectacular. Watch as the Tower of David becomes a sound and light show, and learn about its rich history at the same time.
Church of the Holy Sepulchre
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem is considered one of the holiest Christian sites in the world. Historians also believe this is where Jesus was crucified.
The church is carefully divided between Christian denominations that jealously guard their areas. The Greek Orthodox has the largest area in the church and share custody with Roman Catholics and the Armenian Apostolic.
When entering the grand doors of the church, you immediately see the Stone of Unction ahead of you. The limestone slab, dating from 1808, marks the preparation of Jesus’ body for burial. The Armenians, Coptic Orthodox, Greeks and Latins contributed the white lamps that hang over the stone slab.
Probably the most moving sight is the tomb of Jesus. The Edicule (the tomb) is covered by a flat roof with a small dome at its centre and narrow columns for support.
“The church is carefully divided between Christian denominations that jealously guard their areas.”
FOLLOWING THE RIVERA
City of David
To see the site of ancient Jerusalem, you need to go to the City of David, whose beginnings date back to the Early Bronze Age (1850 BC). It’s also the same place from the Bible where David established the capital of ancient Israel, and was the seat of rule for the Davidic dynasty for centuries after. Today, it’s home to a mixed Jewish-Arab neighbourhood.
The City of David is outside the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem, and is approximately a 4-minute walk from the Western Wall.
Though the most excavated archeological site in Israel, to date, only 20% has been uncovered. One of the most important discoveries was the Canaanite Water System, which dates back to the 18th century BC. The water system is a series of underground passages and fortifications, that the ancient Canaanites used to access the city’s primary water source.
To find out more about tour prices and timings, head to the website for the most current details.
Temple Mount is a steep hill in the Old City of Jerusalem, and is also one of the most religious sites in Christianity, Judaism and Islam. There are 3 significant structures on Temple Mount: the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Dome of the Rock and the Dome of the Chain. You can also see the 4 minarets — architectural structures similar to a tower — adjacent to the mosque.
The golden-domed Dome of the Rock is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has been called ‘Jerusalem’s most recognizable landmark’.
“You can also see the 4 minarets — architectural structures similar to a tower — adjacent to the mosque.”
FOLLOWING THE RIVERA
The Al-Aqsa mosque is the third holiest site in Sunni Islam as Muslims believe that Muhammad was taken from the Sacred Mosque in Mecca to Al-Aqsa in Jerusalem.
Visitors can reach Temple Mount through 11 gates, though take note, as 10 are for Muslims and 1 for non-Muslims. The holy land of Israel has more historical sites to visit; you just need to know where to find them.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that I’ve recommended. Thank you for your support.